Trump ‘will not give in on wall’
WASHINGTON: A leading Senate Republican close to President Donald Trump says Mr Trump isn’t giving in on his demands for a wall along the US-Mexico border, the issue that’s caused the partial Government shutdown that’s now in its fourth week.
Senator Lindsey Graham said he encouraged Mr Trump during a telephone conversation on Sunday to reopen the Government for a period of weeks to try to negotiate a deal with Democrats that would break the impasse.
But the South Carolina Republican said Mr Trump wants a deal first. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also has insisted that Mr Trump end the shutdown first before any negotiating takes place.
“I tried to see if we could open up the Government for a limited period of time to negotiate a deal,” Mr Graham said. “The President says ‘Let’s make a deal, then open up the Government’. Ms Pelosi says ‘even if you opened up the Government I wouldn’t fund a wall’. What is he supposed to do? Just give in. He’s not going to give in,” Mr Graham said.
The assessment from Mr Graham, who has become close to Mr Trump, suggested the shutdown could last for weeks longer, if not months, inflicting additional financial pain on the 800,000 federal workers who have been idled or required to work without pay for the duration.
Senator Chris Coons called Mr Graham’s idea for a brief reopening of the Government a “great place to start”. “Stop harming our country and our economy and let’s make our best efforts because we all agree we need to invest more in border security,” Mr Coons said.
Mr Graham said he thinks Mr Trump is willing to accept the level of wall funding he is seeking, along with some immigration measures Democrats might find acceptable, such as helping immigrants who were illegally brought to the US as children.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has slammed a New York Times article that reported that law enforcement
I tried to see if we could open up the Government for a limited period of time to negotiate a deal SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM
officials began investigating, in 2017, whether Mr Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against US interests. The newspaper said the investigation came after the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” Mr Trump told Fox News.
“I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written, and if you read the article you’ll see that they found absolutely nothing.”
Mr Trump said he had pursued a tough stance on Russia.